Chapter 1095: Imminent Peril
“We need to hurry!” Yu Yanluo exclaimed, pointing at the giant icicle hanging above the cold pond. Some mist swirled across the surface of the icicle. Then, it slowly condensed, forming a drop of milky white liquid at the very tip. The water droplet was extremely small at first, but it grew at a visible rate.
The spiritual essence in the frozen cave became denser and denser. At that point, even an absolute fool could tell that the drop of liquid was a rare treasure.
The droplet at the very tip of the icicle grew larger and larger. Eventually, it began to wobble, as if it might fall at any time.
Zu An quickly rushed forward to collect it, but Yu Yanluo stopped him and said, “The Milk of Purple Frost is a miraculous and divine substance. It must be fully mature in order to provide the greatest effects. If we try to collect it beforehand, it will not be much different from other ordinary liquids. It will only be a little stronger than the world’s natural spiritual essence.”
“Then we can only collect it once it drops?” Zu An asked. He hadn’t spent too much time in this world, so he didn’t know as much about such secrets as the clan leader Yu Yanluo.
Yu Yanluo nodded and replied, “Indeed. You must wait until it completely matures and falls from its host, but the timing is important. After all, this substance will dissolve into water and disperse into the earth. It must be collected the moment before it falls into the cold pool.”
Zu An nodded. Even though the amount of time it would take for the droplet to fall from the icicle into the cold pool was extremely short, it wasn’t too big of an issue for cultivators. With his current cultivation, forget about a single drop, he could catch every single drop even if several hundred droplets fell at the same time.
“It is not as simple as you think,” Yu Yanluo warned him. “You really want this, right?”
Zu An answered frankly, “Indeed. There’s someone extremely important to me who’s seriously injured and in imminent peril. That person must have this to save their life. That’s why I must have this Milk of Purple Frost. However, this was something I discovered with the madam, so in theory, we should be splitting this in half… But I have no choice. I can only compensate for madam’s loss some other way. I hope madam can forgive me.”
Yu Yanluo smiled and replied, “You have saved my life several times. Compared to what you have done for me, what is a trifling Milk of Purple Frost? Furthermore, I do not even need this thing. You can just take it; you do not need to repay me at all.”
Zu An didn’t refuse out of politeness and said, “Thank you for your help, madam. I’ll never forget madam’s kindness for the rest of my life!” He knew there was no way Yu Yanluo could have absolutely no interest in something like the Milk of Purple Frost. This was a favor he would definitely keep in mind.
Yu Yanluo blushed and replied, “What are you even talking about? Who wants your gratitude… Here, take this. Use this thing to collect the Milk of Purple Frost.”
She handed over a soft and smooth bottle. It was clearly made from the highest level jade.
“What is this?” Zu An asked as he received it.
Yu Yanluo explained, “The Milk of Purple Frost is not an ordinary object; it cannot be stored in other containers, and will instead through and turn into nothingness. Only a vessel like jade can store it safely. That is something I deduced from the records I found when the previous Cloudcenter Duke offered the Milk of Purple Frost to his majesty.”
Zu An was overjoyed when he heard that, saying, “Then I really have to thank the madam. Otherwise, I would just have to watch as this once in a lifetime chance passed by.”
Yu Yanluo smiled and said, “You should get ready. It seems as if it will fall any time now.”
Zu An nodded and became completely focused on the drop of Milk of Purple Frost. The drop became larger and larger, wobbling at the very edge of the icicle. After a few more minutes, it finally fell. Zu An rushed out like a streak of lightning when he saw that, quickly appearing below the icicle. He readied the jade bottle right where it was going to fall.
As the droplet was about to enter the jade bottle, Zu An and Yu Yanluo both smiled. However, their smiles quickly froze on their faces.
The drop of Milk of Purple Frost actually passed straight through the jade bottle and continued to fall!
Zu An was horrified when he saw that. He immediately dropped down to try and collect the droplet with the bottle, and yet after trying two more times, the result was the same as before!
“Madam, did you make some mistake?!” he exclaimed.
Yu Yanluo was also shocked, replying, “There should be no mistake! It should be this jade bottle that can collect it! How could it be like this?”
Zu An quickly took out all sorts of other vessels from his Brilliant Glass Bead to test them out. However, the drop of Milk of Purple Frost seemed as if it were invisible, passing straight through. Not a single vessel could store it.
“What the hell is going on?!” Zu An exclaimed, breaking out into a cold sweat. If he really missed out on this chance to collect the Milk of Purple Frost, he probably wouldn’t have another chance to find a second droplet.
Don’t tell me I just have to watch as Mi Li dies?
But he had already tried everything he could, and yet he couldn't store that drop of Milk of Purple Frost at all! The drop of liquid was now only a foot away from the cold pool. It was probably going to completely disappear a second later.
“What do I do?!” Zu An’s entire body turned cold.
Wait. I can’t take that droplet even though I’m still able to move, but Jian Yanyou was dying. Why was he so certain he could obtain the Milk of Purple Frost?
After all, there was no way Jian Yanyou could have been certain that he could wake up in time when the Milk of Purple Frost fell. According to what Uncle Ming had said, it seemed he would only have been able to wake up once he received the nurturing of the Milk of Purple Frost.
However, Jian Yanyou hadn’t even woken up, nor could he move. How would he obtain it then?
Could it be that the Milk of Purple Frost would fall into the pool, and then nourish his body?
No, Yu Yanluo mentioned before that water would quickly dissolve the droplet.
Perhaps it was because he had already been on the brink of death too many times, but the more critical the situation was, the calmer he became and the quicker his mind moved.
Wait… He looked down to examine the cold pool. Because of Blue Mallard, his perception toward the water element was powerful. He just felt that the pool was a little strange.
“It’s all over…” Yu Yanluo watched as the drop of Milk of Purple Frost reached just a hair away from the surface of the pool, and yet Zu An still hadn’t found a solution. She was incredibly anxious, and also blamed herself greatly.
Zu An already said he needed this to save an extremely important friend of his, and yet now, because I didn’t find the right information, we are going to lose out on this once-in-ten-thousand-years miracle…
Even if he does not blame me, I cannot take this myself…
She was wondering how to console Zu An when she suddenly saw him move. He reached out his hand, creating a large gap in the water’s surface.
Is he trying to prolong the time before the droplet hits something else? Yu Yanluo thought. She had to admit that was a good decision. But if they couldn't find a way to store the droplet, it would at most buy a bit of time. In the end, it would still be meaningless.
Her eyes suddenly widened. She saw Zu An hold the jade bottle upside down above the water surface, and the drop of liquid suffused with spiritual essence flew straight into the bottle. As he closed the lid, the spiritual essence that filled the frozen cave immediately became weaker. Even the cold that was spreading in all directions vanished without a trace. The cold pool also began shrinking at a visible rate.
“We’ve… succeeded?” Yu Yanluo exclaimed in disbelief.
Zu An kicked off with his toes, then returned while treading on the surface of the pool. He said, “It was thanks to madam’s guidance that I was finally able to collect the Milk of Purple Frost.”
Yu Yanluo replied in surprise, “But why did you keep failing before? And later on, it almost felt as if the Milk of Purple Frost flew upward from below!”
Zu An gave the icicle a look and said, “It’s because that’s just a pretense. The legend of the Milk of Purple Frost is well known, so people would subconsciously think it comes from this frozen stalactite. Uncle Ming even gave it a look on purpose, but that was actually to mislead us.”
“But why did we clearly see the droplet condense overhead?” Yu Yanluo asked, still confused.
“That was just an inverted image made by the water as it cast its reflection toward the icicle. In other words, the true Milk of Purple Frost is formed from a stalagmite at the bottom of the cold pool, then floats upward,” Zu An explained. “I thought it was strange from the very start. Jian Yanyou was already in a half-dead state, so how was he going to receive the Milk of Purple Frost? I remembered that his remains just happened to be under the icicle, so I suddenly realized he had placed his body in the spot where the Milk of Purple Frost would definitely appear. He would have received the nourishment of the droplet without even needing to move at all.”
“But wasn’t the Milk of Purple Frost rumored to dissolve in water? How could it exist in water?” Yu Yanluo asked, having realized another problem. That was why she had never suspected it would come from underwater.
“That’s because it was surrounded by rich essence, isolating it from the pool’s water. However, as it rose, the essence protecting it would quickly scatter. If I hadn’t promptly parted the waters, it might have already dispersed away.” Zu An said, sounding relieved.
“People say that divine things choose their own owners. It seems this thing really was fated to be yours.” Yu Yanluo sighed in relief. She patted her chest, still feeling some lingering fear.
Zu An was about to say something when he suddenly heard noisy footsteps in the distance.
“Why did that strong spiritual essence suddenly disappear?”
“Huh? There’s a cave over here. Let’s take a look.”